Delighted Di Canio dedicates first win with Sunderland to his mother
Paolo di Canio dedicated his first victory as Sunderland manager to his mother who passed away a year ago.
Sunderland won 3-0 in their Premier League derby at Newcastle United to enhance Di Canio's chances of leading the club away from trouble near the foot of the table.
And, while the Italian handed most of the credit to his players, he was also thinking of his mother Pierina at the final whistle.
The match was played 24 hours after the first anniversary of her death and Di Canio dedicated the success to her.
"I saw my mother's face just before the kick-off and it was a very emotional moment for me," he said.
"I was in the dugout the day after she passed away and we won the game - and it has happened again. My dedication goes to her."
Whatever the inspiration for Sunderland's most convincing derby victory over Newcastle in 34 years, Sunderland's supporters were happy to witness it.
Di Canio has been at the club for less than a fortnight, but was already aware of what this match meant to them, an importance increased by the need for points to ease relegation concerns.
"They fight for the kingdom in this area, so this is a fantastic moment, but it means nothing if we don't stay up," said Di Canio.